by Pauline James

Relaxing and basking in the spring sunshine, after the debilitating effects of the long, cold, gloomy months of winter is extremely invigorating for parrots. The warmth and brightness of the sun increases a bird’s activity levels, encourages them to exercise, tops-up their fitness levels, builds-up their bodily resources as their appetite is enhanced, and helps them to attain peak breeding condition before going to nest.

But, the true benefits of the sun to our feathered friends, in reality is far more complex than this, and soaking up the sun’s rays is actually a vital component to their overall health and well-being, and has a strong influence on how they function and ultimately reproduce.

Apart from the warmth and light that the sun provides, that helps to guide parrots into the correct breeding and moulting cycles, it is the sun’s ultra violet rays that play an even more crucial role in a parrot’s life. And, their dependence and need for direct contact with the sun’s rays should not be underestimated.

The ultra violet ray sector is divided into three groups: long-wave UVA rays, medium-wave UVB rays, which are the vital, life-supporting ones and which play an enormously significant role in our birds’ lives, and the third sector is made up of powerful and harmful short-wave UVC rays. The latter destroy living cells, and are effectively prevented from penetrating the earth’s atmosphere and reaching us, by the protective ozone layer - which is another story.

Firstly, UVA rays are known to have a positive effect on a parrot’s glandular system and particularly the pineal gland, a light sensitive organ tucked away at the base of the brain.

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